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Wife of Urooj Khan, poisoned Chicago lottery winner, was questioned for hours by police

This undated photo provided by the Illinois Lottery shows Urooj Khan, 46, of Chicago's West Rogers Park neighborhood, posing with a winning lottery ticket. AP Photo/Illinois Lottery

This undated photo provided by the Illinois Lottery shows Urooj Khan, 46, of Chicago's West Rogers Park neighborhood, posing with a winning lottery ticket.
This undated photo provided by the Illinois Lottery shows Urooj Khan, 46, of Chicago's West Rogers Park neighborhood, posing with a winning lottery ticket
AP Photo/Illinois Lottery

(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - Chicago police investigating the mysterious poisoning of lottery winner Urooj Khan questioned his widow for more than four hours and executed a search warrant on their home.

Shabana Ansari's attorney said Wednesday that his client was subjected to a long session of questioning at a police station in November and detectives searched the family's two-story home. Attorney Steven Kozicki said Ansari maintains she had nothing to do with the July death of her 46-year-old husband and he has no indication that detectives might be looking at her as a potential suspect.

"I wouldn't use the term suspect," he said. "... In any case where a husband dies in that manner, sure they're going to talk to the spouse. That's what they've done. ... I believe that she had nothing to do with his death. She vehemently says that she had nothing to do with his death."

Police have not spoken publicly of any suspects or put forward a possible motive for what they now believe was an intentional poisoning. Authorities initially ruled the death a result of natural causes, but when a relative came forward with suspicions they conducted a comprehensive toxicology screening that showed Khan was poisoned with a lethal dose of cyanide. They then reclassified the manner of death as a homicide.

Khan died one day after a check was issued to him for $425,000 in lottery winnings.

Authorities plan to exhume Khan's body in the next few weeks in hopes they might be able to test additional tissue samples and bolster evidence if the case goes to trial. Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina said he did not believe additional tests would change the conclusion that Khan was a homicide victim.

Complete coverage of Urooj Khan on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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